Good & Loved

I’ve been listening to this new song by Travis Greene and Steffany Gretzinger for a few days now called, “Good & Loved.” There’s this one line in the song that says, “What was and is is covered by the One who was and is your Cover.”

As I was listening to the song the other day, I had this moment where I was thinking about a situation that I’m processing forgiveness in. I heard that line from the song, and it was as if all of the hope filled me. I was reminded of Revelation, 1:8, “I am the Alpha and Omega, who was and is and is to come.” As I listened, I was filled with this confidence that what was (what’s happened in the past) and what is (my present life) has been covered by the One who is the Beginning and the End, the One who was and One who is. There is NOTHING in my life that He will not cause to work together for my good.

I know that life can be tough, and there are seasons where it seems like the pain and injustice are nonstop, but we have to choose to believe that God does care about us. Today seems like a good day to ask the Holy Spirit for help if you’re struggling. You don’t have to have all of the fancy language. You can begin with, “Holy Spirit, I need your help.” Repent. Then, reject the accuser who comes to tell you that God isn’t for you, and that He won’t deliver you from this.

He’s a good God.
He loves you, He will cover you with His love, and you will see good come out of this.
That’s a promise.

P.S. Here’s that beautiful song.

We Don’t Have to Know the “How”

I LOVE the story of the Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings 6.

Long story short, the king of Syria was trying to plot against Israel. Every time he’d compose a new plan, God would tell Elisha what was said, and Elisha would tell the king of Israel. The king of Syria (obviously frustrated because his plans were being foiled), sent an army in the middle of the night to seize Elisha.

Early the next morning when Elisha and his servant got up, the servant went out to find an entire army with horses and chariots surrounding the city that they’re in. Freaking out, he asked what they’re going to do. “Elisha replied, ‘Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are against us.’ Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So, the Lord opened the eyes of the servant and HE SAW, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha,” (2 Kings 6:16-17)

Y’ALL! God is fighting for us, and there is more going on that what we can see.

I was listening to a clip this morning with Abi Stumvoll, and in it, Abi mentioned that when the servant was standing there, he was probably wondering, “HOW? How are we going to do this? There is an entire army coming against us. How will we overcome?” The servant didn’t know it at the time, but he was already in the middle of God’s answer, and all he could see was the problem.

It’s not our job to know the “How.”

As Abi stated, if we look at the “How” for too long, hope deferred, discouragement, and defeat all sink in because we were never meant to carry the “How.”

If you have a “How” in your life, that is the breeding ground for the miraculous. You have to have a “How” to see God do the impossible.

Today, we can have confidence that God has the “How” taken care of!

(Video: We Weren’t Meant to Carry the “How” | Abi Stumvoll | Bethel Church

a plain & simple life.

“… a plain and simple life is a full life,” (Proverbs 13: 7b)

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I recently moved home, and the best way that I can describe it is that everything is slow

…but, it’s not a bad thing. I enjoy slow.

I like the quiet of the mornings, and the afternoons kissed by dazzling sunsets.

I like the feeling of having something to do, but having nowhere to go where I have to rush.

That’s what it is! I like that I don’t have to rush. I feel like rest is attainable now.

It’s funny. Although I do not have kids, I do live with one (she’s 9), and I’m understanding the significance of small victories. I used to read captions about parents who were excited that their child only cried for 45 minutes instead of an hour, and wouldn’t stop to think twice about it. Although my sister never really cries, I now understand the significance in small victories.

It’s getting excited because there’s been a compromise in family conversations on what to buy at the grocery store.

It’s a clean room.

It’s getting to sleep in past 7 AM.

It’s monkey bread and orange juice at a neighbor’s for small group on Wednesday mornings.

It’s having the strength to pray.

It’s a renewed mind and the small moments of growth that shock even me.

While I do miss the “city” life of Birmingham, I want to soak up as much of the slower pace as possible before going back.

Japan Story

So, for those who want to know the full backstory behind this missions trip, here it is! 
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In October 2016, I was traveling and the Lord laid Japan on my heart. For me, it was something that was completely random because Japan had never been on my radar up until that point, but I had a clear indication that the Lord was nudging my heart for a missions trip. The year before, I was actually set to go on a missions trip and didn’t get the chance to go. The trip I wanted to go on, I “felt” like I had a heart for the country, but in the end, it didn’t work out. Because my church’s heart is towards evangelism, we have dozens and dozens of mission trips each year so I knew where to start. I went home that night and checked our church’s website for any mission trips to Japan in 2016 and 2017, but there were none. So, I asked for confirmation of what I’d heard, and kind of laid it down. (Side note: This is the part of the story where I should warn you that you may be a taaaaad bit upset from my emotional decision. During that same Fall semester, I’d enrolled back into school at UA [which I THOUGHT was crazy because I HATED college]. During that Fall semester, somehow I received an email from the Foreign Language Department concerning a free passport. Now, at this point, I’d never been on a missions trip, nor did I have plans of studying abroad, but who was I to pass up a free passport? I went to every meeting, I filled out all of my paperwork, but the day that I was supposed to actually turn in my paperwork, have it notarized, and have the department pay for my passport, I didn’t go. I can’t remember why I was so upset or discouraged that day, but I just didn’t go. The department called and emailed me because it had to be done that day, and I just didn’t go! Lol! Silly, I know!)

Back to the story… 

The next Sunday (after the Lord laid Japan on my heart) I was sitting in church, and one of our pastors got up to announce that our lead pastor had been in Japan the week beforehand. Obviously, I was a little surprised because I’d never heard anyone speak of Japan in our church (Granted, I’d only been there a few months, though! Lol!). Anywho, the pastor speaking started sharing what God was doing and ended with telling the church to be on the lookout for mission trips to Japan in the future.

Fast forward a year later, I started Highlands College (currently, LOVING it!). I was sitting in class one night as a leader explained that one of the requirements for graduation is that we must go on a mission trip. I start praying about timing in which to go on, and I heard the Lord tell me to go in my third semester. I check the website, and low & behold, there was a trip to Japan in my third semester. At this time, (a year in advance) the trip was already full! The first deadline wasn’t until March, so although it was the end of August, I wouldn’t know until March whether or not someone had dropped out. Out of fear, I decided on another trip (which that didn’t last very long). After about two months, I decided to drop my trip, and to get on the waiting list for Japan. I didn’t know my position on the list, but I knew I was going. I’d already requested it off and scheduled part of the year around it.


After being on the waiting list for SIX MONTHS, I received an email a week before the deadline that stated that I had been approved for Japan! Literally, nobody but God. I was driving a few days after finding out that I’d been approved, and had this thought: It would have been one thing for me to pick a missions trip like I’d done for the trip in 2015 that didn’t work out, it’s another to be HANDPICKED for one. Can we pause & just fathom that? Literally, for whatever reason, the Lord saw it fit a year and a half beforehand to lay a missions trip on my heart that wasn’t even in the making yet.

Even now, I think about all of the things that He’s handpicked for each of us to accomplish through our lives. The things that start with, “If you only knew the story that led up to this….” or the CRAZY thing that you’re believing for right now that when it comes to pass, you wouldn’t even be able to find the words that describe His goodness. “Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!” (Ephesians 2: 10b TPT) He KNOWS what He’s doing. I look back now and know that I wasn’t ready to go to on that first trip, and He knew it. It took a few years, but I’m so excited & expectant for what He wants to do!  
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So, prayers are sooooooo appreciated!

All of the fundraising is coming (in addition to many other things that He’s laid on my heart!) 

If you want to donate at any point during this, you can donate here. Yes, it is going to ask you to set up a profile. That’s normal. 🙂 

Keep an eye out for future updates!

Coffee Dates

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. 

They will soar high on wings like eagles. 

They will run and not grow weary. 

They will walk and not faint.”

(Isaiah 40: 31, NLT)

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I love the faithfulness of the Lord.

Have you ever had a promise from Him?

I have. Plenty of them, actually. I’m walking in some of them, and some of them I am waiting on with a heart of expectancy.

I wrote in a previous post, “You will not miss out on your own needs or promises. As we take care of Kingdom business, God will take care of ours.”

Here’s one of those many stories.

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Isaiah 40: 31 flashed through my mind as I was putting on my finishing touches. I was moments away from meeting with an old friend for coffee. I had no agenda. I had no idea what we’d talked about, and I was beginning to wonder what I was thinking when I asked her for coffee. A thought became an action before I had a chance to process fear and a week later, I’m praying that we can make it through coffee without someone leaving the conversation feeling defeated. 2016 had not been an easy year for our friendship, and we could count on one hand how many times we’d been intentional on meeting and talking over the past year. Over that year, and especially in the last few months, I’d found myself worn out with believing for restoration. It was like a played-out record that wouldn’t stop, and I was tired of hearing the same song. The Lord kept telling me to look to Him, and to pay attention to what was in front of me. I’ve got it, Lord. Keep pouring. Keep writing. Keep serving. Keep leading. Keep resting. I’m okay with all of that, and I know that You’ll restore it all, but I need grace and Your strength to make it through this moment right now. So, that scripture landed in a tender place as I prayed it for myself and my friend before walking out of the front door.

 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts

And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,

   so my ways are higher than your ways

   and my thoughts higher than your thoughts,”

(Isaiah 55: 8-9, NLT)

Anyone who knows me knows that I can be somewhat analytical. I like to figure it all out, or at least have some type of plan concerning what I have figured out. But, that’s not the type of God I serve. He’s the “You live from time, I don’t. Trust Me when I say that it will all work out. You cannot see what I am doing, but keep praying and keep believing. What does My Word say? What have I told you?” type-God. So, in the midst of it all, I did what I knew to do: Keep praying, believing, and trust Him as I moved forward, “The righteous keep moving forward,
and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger, (Job 17: 9, NLT)
. I knew that as I stayed focused on the what God instructed me to do, He’d work everything out in the background.

& He did.

My friend and I met and we talked. We talked about life, jobs, and school. We even laughed a little.

 I don’t know how it happened, but in forty-five minutes the Lord restored hope to places I didn’t even know it was lacking. It amazed me how a seemingly bad (& I do mean BAD) circumstance was exactly what He purposed for us to experience His love in a deeper way.  We ended coffee with a few next steps concerning our friendship, and we agreed to start fresh and move forward. For a split second, after I got in my car, I still could not fathom a God that loved His children so much that He would purpose a year the way that He did. I will probably never know why everything happened the way it did, and in hindsight, not only does it not matter, I’m glad it all happened. The end result was worth it, and that coffee date was so much more than coffee. It was a glimpse into an eternal God’s thought process.

  • He showed me how in one year’s time He’d expanded my capacity to love beyond myself, and introduced true love the way that the Bible teaches.

  • He reminded me of every personal decision I’d been led into over the past year [concerning my calling] that wouldn’t have happened had I not been forced out of complacency.

  • He showed the both of us that even in the midst of all of the pain, chaos, and not understanding, He’d purposed it all, and that He is trustworthy. He knew what He was doing the entire time, and He knew who to use to accomplish the purpose. (He’d actually shown the both of us, and we didn’t fully understand at the time)

  • He proved that He is Jehovah Rapha and that when He heals and restores, He doesn’t restore to our definition of what restoration is, but to what He originally intended for it to be.

  • More than anything, He reminded me that it was so much bigger than us. There were people who were (& will be) touched because a group of friends were able to walk in obedience and share a testimony of how we healed and gained greater intimacy with the Healer during a tough season.

“ Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” (Galatians 6:9, NLT)

So, be encouraged. Concerning the past year, as I started to seek Him, the desire for restoration began to fade. Not that I didn’t want it, because I did, but because I wanted what He wanted more. A few months before coffee, I’d actually settled in my heart that I would be okay if I’d misheard Him and He never restored it.

The next step He’s asking of you may not seem like the logical step towards what you want, but as you move forward with whatever God is telling you to do, know that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,” (Hebrews 11: 6b). As you take care of His business, He will take care of yours. You cannot outdo God, and He does not forget His promises. Everything works together for the good of those who love Him.